TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office are trying to identify about 200 people who were caught on camera breaking into and looting a Tampa Walmart during protests last month. The sheriff’s office says more than $100,000 in merchandise was stolen.
The break-in happened just after 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 30 at the Walmart on East Fletcher Avenue. According to deputies, the store was closed because of protests that were happening outside University Mall nearby. People used blunt objects like hammers to break the glass entrance doors to the store and storm inside, the sheriff’s office says.
Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the store and say they believe approximately 200 people broke in. Most of them started looting the electronics section, according to the sheriff’s office.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says an estimated $116,000 in merchandise and damages was reported.
“Not only is this violence completely unacceptable, it was disrespectful to the protesters who were out there that night trying to express their message in an impactful way,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “We are actively working to identify each and every one of these suspects and ask the public to provide any information they may have.”
Anyone who has information or knows any of the people involved is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (813) 247-8200.